It's time for the police to rethink 'shoot-to-kill'Submitted by meekandmild on Thu, 08/21/2014 - 10:40
The St. Louis County Police Department released video last night that shows two of its officers opening fire and killing a knife-wielding man who had just held up a nearby liquor store.
Here's the video. Warning: it is quite disturbing, although there are no close-ups of the dying man.
When I posted the video on Twitter yesterday, rather predictably, the reaction broke into two camps.
Camp One notes simply that the officers fired at a man who was walking towards them with a knife after they had warned him. It was a graphic but justified application of lethal force by police officers trying to protect themselves.
Camp Two wonders why the police had to shoot him at all. Why didn't the police approach the scene with canisters of tear gas or with tasers at the ready? Why didn't they simply change their positions? Why, if they did have to shoot him, didn't they aim for his leg, and why did they fire nine times? Finally, why didn't they render first aid to him immediately instead of appearing to, in a panic, handcuff a prone, bleeding suspect? Sixteen seconds elapse between the time the police arrive and the time the suspect falls to the ground.